Toughie 589 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Toughie 589

Toughie No 589 by Kcit

Hints and tips by Bufo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Another fairly straightforward puzzle from Kcit which is on the easy side for a Toughie. Once I’d finished this puzzle I started on the one in today’s Times. That proved to be a real toughie and took me 3 or 4 times longer to complete than this one did. So if anyone feels like a challenge may I recommend today’s Times puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


5a    Problem about performance involving new private room (7)
{SANCTUM} A mathematical problem goes round a performance which contains N (new). This gives a private room

7a    Ringing of bell, say, in jolly style? (5)
{ALARM} A warning of danger. e.g. ringing a bell, is made up from “in the style of” (1,2) + a jolly (marine)

9a    Sailor behind increasingly reduced artillery weapon (6)
{MORTAR} A sailor goes after “increasingly” with the last letter removed to give a short piece of artillery for throwing a shell, etc.

10a    University student returned article published about Protestant movement (8)
{LUTHERAN} A reversal of U (University) L (student) is followed by the definite article and “published” to give an adjective relating to the doctrines of a German Protestant reformer

11a    Enliven competition, bagging runs? It’ll set you on your way (7,3)
{STIRRUP CUP} “To enliven” (4,2) + a competition for a trophy goes round R (runs) to give a drink taken on horseback usually at the start of a hunt

13a    I’ll have foremost of tickets on display? (4)
{TOUT} T (the first letter of tickets” + “on display” gives a person who sells tickets outside a sporting event, etc.

14a    Presently exhausted by party? (3,2,4,4)
{ALL IN GOOD TIME} “Presently” is given by “exhausted” (3,2) + what you would hope to have at a party (4,4)

16a    Perseverance? Old King has it (4)
{GRIT} Perseverance comes from King George + IT

17a    Punch — way to constrain constant complainer (10)
{CROSSPATCH} In boxing, a punch delivered from the side + a way (for pedestrians) round C (constant) gives an ill-natured person

19a    Careless person I start to avoid in European country (8)
{SLOVENIA} A person who is carelessly dressed or slipshod in work + I + A (the first letter of avoid) gives a European republic once part of Yugoslavia

20a    Judge appearing in Times almost exhausted? Crikey! (2,4)
{BY JOVE} J (Judge) appears in “times” (in a mathematical sense) + “exhausted” with the last letter missing to give “Crikey!”

22a    Quality server lacking current (5)
{WATER} Quality (as in the phrase “of the first *****”) is obtained by removing I (current) from someone who serves you food

23a    Sure, Tay at sea exhibits it (7)
{ESTUARY} An anagram (at sea) of SURE TAY gives a feature of the River Tay where it enters the sea


1d    Kilo — measure of weight — taken the wrong way as measure of speed (4)
{KNOT} K (kilo) + a reversal of a heavy weight gives a unit of speed used at sea

2d    What inspired potter may do for the big finale? (4,4)
{STAR TURN} A potter may begin a vase (5,3). This gives the chief item in an entertainment usually at the end of the bill

3d    Drinking companion possibly overturned computer (6)
{LAPTOP} A reversal of what could be a friend that you drink with(3,3) (or smoke cannabis with) gives a type of computer

4d    Composer limits note in endless chord (10)
{PALESTRINA} A Italian composer (?1525-94) is given by limits + N (note) inside a chord of three notes with the last letter missing. This is the only clue that gave me any real difficulty. Fortunately the answer rang a very faint bell I was then able to work out the wordplay.

5d    Left supporting introduction of Socialist game (5)
{SPORT} Left (on a ship) is preceded by S (first letter of Socialist)

6d    Sweet version of the comical look, nothing less (4,9)
{MILK CHOCOLATE} A sweet (confection) is an anagram (version of) THE COMICAL LOOK without one of the O’s (nothing less)

8d    A lot of drink? Certainly a quantity of drink (7)
{MEASURE} An alcoholic drink made from honey loses its last letter. This is followed by “certainly” to give the quantity of drink contained in a vessel of known capacity

12d    I try working with energy absorbing upcoming crucial theory in physics (10)
{RELATIVITY} An anagram (working) OF I TRY E (energy) goes round a reversal of “crucial” to give the most famous theory in physics

14d    Wind reasonable, force dropping, not high (7)
{AIRFLOW} A wind (going past a moving vehicle or in a wind tunnel) Is given by “reasonable” with the letter F (force) dropping to the end of the word + “not high”

15d    Buds that will be damaged in cascade of soil (4-4)
{DUST BATH} An anagram (that will be damaged) of BUDS THAT gives a cascade of soil (as used by birds to clean themselves)

17d    Comedian accepting a new rumour (6)
{CANARD} A comedian goes round A N (new) to give a false rumour

18d    Coastal location with unknown birds (5)
{COVEY} A small inlet of the sea + Y (unknown) gives a small flock of grouse or partridge

21d    Spaniard having month around University or America (4)
{JUAN} A Spanish male Christian name is given by a month round U (University) or by another month round A (America)

A nice enough puzzle but I would have preferred a much greater challenge.

12 comments on “Toughie 589

  1. Like CS I began by thinking that this was going to be tricky but it soon fell into place and this and the back page had been completed by Waterloo this morning. On this basis, I would say it was more of a 2* for difficulty. Many thanks to KCit for the crossword and to Bufo for the review.

    1. think it was certainly a toughie lite…..solved this quicker than back page! but thanks for an easy one-it does wonders for the self esteem!

  2. I struggled a fair bit on this and my time was the same of that in solving the Times (although I admit the latter was far tougher). I don’t think my cryptic cells were firing first thing but warmed up for the Times. Looking back there is nothing extremly difficult here and I actually speeded up towards the end.
    Thanks to Bufo for the review and to Kcit for the enjoyable puzzle

  3. I’m with Prolixic and think that this was a 2* difficulty Toughie, although I did at first think I was going to struggle. Very enjoyable too, thank you Kcit. Thanks to Bufo for the explanations – I agree with you about the toughness of the Times, I actually gave up and ‘cheated’ on that one.

  4. I solved all with the exception of 4d without much difficulty; a composer I had never heard of and I needed to use ‘onelook’ to complete the puzzle.
    Thanks to Kcit, and to Bufo.

    1. If you had solved yesterday’s Guardian by Brendan you would have had a head start on that one, Jezza!:

      Old composer’s feeble part for violin, with final note changed (10)

      1. I meant to look at that puzzle, but did not get round to it. I might have got it from that wordplay!

  5. A relatively straightforward solve, though was grateful for the explanation of 7a as was unfamiliar with RM and jolly connection. Thank you Bufo and Kcit.

  6. I also thought this was going to be a struggle but once I got started it fell into place quite easily, still very enjoyable though, favourites were 13a 2d and 20a thanks to Kcit and to Bufo for the comments.

  7. Heck.
    17d turns out to be a duck. Never heard of it as a rumour.

    And 4d……….. another lesson along with the back page’s moth.
    Enjoyed it, apart from 4d, I don’t like looking up GK answers to justify what I’ve worked out.
    Otherwise Jolly Good!

  8. Actually I got my post on the other blog wrong – it was yesterday’s Shamus that put up the fight this evening!
    This one was fairly benign for a Toughie but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.
    Thanks to Kcit and Bufo.

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